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September 12th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

Reaction to anti-Islam film fuels debate on free speech versus hate speech

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans amid protests against a film that denigrates Islam has sparked global discussion and debate  about whether there is a line between free speech and hate speech and, if so, where it lies.

“They don’t regard perceived insults to the Prophet Mohammed or the Quran as being protected by free speech, they regard it as a capital offense,” says Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, referring to protesters in Libya and Egypt, where the U.S. Embassy was attacked, who were angered by the film.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the movie was made by a real estate developer who wanted to portray Islam as a hateful religion.  The attack on the U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya, was orchestrated by extremists who used the protests as a diversion, U.S. sources told CNN Wednesday.

“In some of these cases, the people releasing these films or cartoons are trying to make a statement about free speech, which is fair enough,” says Bergen, referring to the film and other provocative recent depictions of Mohammed, Islam’s founding prophet.

"But in some cases they are deliberately trying to provoke," Bergen says. "The film that is at issue is certainly very provocative, the way it treats the Prophet Mohammed, and people who release these things are being very irresponsible."

Read: Why Muslims are sensitive on Mohammed

Newt Gingrich told CNN Wednesday that the United States should seize on the violence spurred by the film “to teach the Muslim world about freedom,” specifically about freedom of speech.

His remarks, echoed by other conservatives on Wednesday, signaled something of a divide in reaction to developments in Libya and Egypt between the political right, which stressed freedom of speech, and the left, which added condemnation of those behind the anti-Muslim film.

"The horrific attacks in Libya & Egypt are a stark contrast to our American ideals of free speech, civil disagreement," wrote Todd Rokita, a Republican U.S. congressman who is from Indiana, on Twitter.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Gingrich, the former presidential candidate and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said that after the attacks, “We had an opportunity to stand up and say, ‘You know, it is true - some people in the United States might make a film that is totally whacked out.’”

“Sooner or later, we in the modern world have to say to those who are living in a different way, ‘Look, we stand for freedom,’” he said.

Gingrich criticized statements from the U.S. government that he said went too far in condemning and apologizing for the anti-Muslim film.

In a statement on Tuesday morning - before the violence - the U.S. Embassy in Egypt wrote that it "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

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"Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy," the statement continued. "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

Some U.S. officials spoke to the tension between U.S. support for free speech and what some have described as the film’s “hate speech,” in reacting to the attacks.

"The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

"Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” she said. “But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

Some other political and religious leaders also cited the tension between free speech and what they said was hate speech. "I support #freespeech AND believe this film is hateful," tweeted Eboo Patel, an American Muslim leader based in Chicago. "I stand up for #Islam AND condemn violence of extremist Muslims #fb #responsibility."

Others joined in venting disapproval of both the film and the attacks. "For the record, you can condemn violence in response to hate speech, and you can also condemn hate speech," wrote Jeff Fecke on Twitter. "You don't have to support either."

Some American Muslims said Wednesday that while they support the right of free speech, they believe that the U.S. applies its values selectively in the Muslim world, especially when it comes to military and intelligence operations.

“Freedom of speech falls alongside other freedoms to live and be free from bombs falling on people’s heads and to be free from occupations,” says Omid Safi, religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina, referring to American military and intelligence operations in parts of the Muslim world.

“I will take free speech comments seriously when others take people’s freedom of life and dignity and to be free from occupation just as seriously,” he said.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on the discussion around free speech and hate speech and we'll fold good ones into this post.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Violence

soundoff (1,088 Responses)
  1. Basil Scaperdas

    Making this anti-Islam movie and making sure it got tranlated into Arabic is just like yelling "fire" in a movie theater. There are limits to free speech and when you put US lives in danger overseas by burning a Koran and publicising it or insulting Islam and publicising it, you are essentially yelling "fire" in a movie theater. It is unreaslistic to expect Arab Muslim sensibilities to change overnight about the tenets of free speech just as it is unrealistic to yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater and expect people to ignore you. Either way you are putting US lives in danger. There are limits to free speech and putting lives in danger should be one of the litmus tests.

    September 14, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Omar

      So these folks just happened to become "spontaneously" – and simultaneously – enraged on 9/11 over a film that's been out for months? Lord, you're gullible. It's a useful pretextfor the Ikhwan to try to impose world wide islamic blasphemy laws, nothing more. If It hadn't of been this film, they would have found something else.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • FlyingDragon

      When an American steps off US soil and onto the Middle East Lands his life is always in danger. There should be better security. Its rather unacceptable.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • FlyingDragon

      And to note this attack was planned. Maybe the protesters are angry but the whole RPG thing was planned anyhow. You cant blame the whole thing on the actions of one stupid movie and free speech. The Jhadists burn bibles and flags all the time. They don't care about the feelings of Americans anyways. They just want to kill them and make the news doing it to get more followers. It was just opportunistic.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  2. david mackin

    THE film is totally irrelevent, to listen to america apolagizing for it makes me ill. We have to stop trying to appease the Abab World .America need not even mention the film the actions in the Arab World is total insanity and we must deal with them in the same way the Israel Government does. Im a Obama supporter a Canadian but you cannot be weak with these people

    September 14, 2012 at 7:00 am |
  3. Naina Mohamed

    There was a time in America when a gentleman will fight for the honour of his family; men have duelled over family dignity. Someone who insulted your father, mother or wife will have to be prepared to fight and die for it. We may today call it barbaric times, but I call them men of honour. For they made sure that anyone who intended to insult their parents, wife or children in public bringing about ridicule will think many many times before doing so.
    The Prophet Muhammed holds a very special place in the hearts of Muslims. Everyday Muslims send their greetings to him and his family. In many cases he is closer to our hearts than our parents. And I will not apologise for the Muslims who rise up in anger when the Prophet is insulted. Just as I will not apologise for an American who punches someone for insulting his mother, if there are still such Americans.
    How would you feel if someone was to make a movie about your loved ones in a derogatory manner. Would you not feel hurt and insulted? Would you not want justice done. But you could go to court, fight it out, and mete punishment on that person. But the Egyptians cannot take you to court for insulting his Prophet. He can only take his anger out in the streets.
    Many years ago I witnessed a Muslim man defending vigorously the virgin birth of Christ to Christians who were debating that virgin births are not possible. The vigour, passion and belief he showed in that argument said a lot about the differences of Muslims from some Christians. Muslims believe in their prophets and the truth of their messages. Insulting them is insulting the one who sent them. And Muslims will fight to the death. For the Muslims Muhammed, Jesus, Moses and the others are still there watching us, they are to be loved and any who insults them deserves to be taught a lesson.

    September 14, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • saggyroy

      You insult me by saying that Jesus, Mohammed, and Moses are watching me. You deserve to be taught a lesson.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • Damocles

      @Naina

      Interesting. I'm insulted by your post. How should we do this? Do you name the time and place and I name the weapons or should I just blow up random crap and hope I get you one day?

      September 14, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • saggyroy

      I am insulted that you are insulted that Naina is insulted.....

      September 14, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Damocles

      @saggyroy

      How dare you be insulted at my being insulted!? That insults me! We must have zee duel! What will it be, pistols at dawn or Uzis at sunset?

      September 14, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • saggyroy

      Spatula's at dawn ! I gotta be at work by 9.

      September 14, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • DrRH

      Naina,
      Following your logic, maybe it is time for th USA to "rise up" and punish the Middle Eastern Muslims for their insults to the USA. To nuke or not to nuke; that is the question.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • An American girl

      Naina, what you do, instead of killing the person that "insults" you or your values, is you use your WORDS, as you are doing now, to defend yourself, if you do not have the courts as a recourse. You think it is good for children to grow up without a mother or a father, because the father defended the honor of the family because someone was insulted?? Are you kidding, you really believe THAT? Naina, things have evolved in the educated world away from killing in the name of honor for good reason, you must study this more.

      September 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  4. saggyroy

    Regarding hate speech, I guess we should ban the Koran and Bible because they are filled with it.

    September 14, 2012 at 6:13 am |
  5. PAUL

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmigBOhYTns&w=640&h=390]

    September 14, 2012 at 6:12 am |
  6. nihalsam, switzerland

    ANY freedom should be periodically reassessed, as more and more people disregard the "rules of the game" and abuse this freedom. Take the banking sector, for instance ! And then there's cyber mobbing: How many lives have to be ruined, how many kids must commit suicide before we do something about it.

    September 14, 2012 at 5:04 am |
    • saggyroy

      Freedom means freedom. You either have it or you don't.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • Cq

      saggyroy
      Are we free to do absolutely anything? Why have criminal codes then?

      September 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  7. Peter

    A segment of another CNN article read: "Islam forbids all depictions of Mohammed, let alone insulting ones." Perhaps therein lies the problem. I do not believe in Islam and should not be bound by their prohibitions. It should actually be "Islam forbids ITS FOLLOWERS ........".

    I guess they are just proving Bacale's point, unfortunately.

    About "hate" speech, there is a difference between EXPRESSING hatred, urging people to take violet action, and carrying out this violet action. One is perfectly normal, and the other extreme is illegal., the middle one is where this discussion shoudl focus.

    September 14, 2012 at 3:31 am |
  8. Damocles

    Free speech = spoken words that we agree with
    Hate speech = spoken words that we disagree with

    September 14, 2012 at 3:23 am |
    • Cq

      Well, some people, maybe even most of us, disagree with what we call "hate" speech. The people who say those things supposedly actually believe that what they're saying is true, right?

      September 14, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  9. Juergen Steinmetz, eTurboNews

    eTN just published this report:
    China’s innocent role in the current explosive anti-American protests in the Middle East

    See: http://www.eturbonews.com/31164/china-s-innocent-role-current-explosive-anti-american-protests-m

    September 14, 2012 at 2:50 am |
  10. Michael

    If you say something and it really, really, really ticks people off... maybe it had to be said.

    September 14, 2012 at 2:27 am |
  11. Wayne

    So by Ms. Clinton's comment: ""Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

    So I take it Ms. Clinton will be condemning the Broadway musical called "The Book of Mormon" which viciously mocks Latter Day Saints? Next will she be condemning Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchins for the hurt feelings they have caused Christian believers? Can anyone else not see the outright hypocrisy of her condemnations?

    September 14, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Yes Wayne, I see it. It's political rhetoric.
      Another commenter posting on cnn made an interesting observation. After a cnn article had an Islamic scholar saying that Muslims also venerate Moses and Jesus and forbid their images as well, the commenter asked "why no Muslim outrage and rioting after evil stuff depicting Moses and Jesus in a distasteful way"? Total silence from the world's Muslims.

      Obviously, the Muslim rioters are a bunch of racist hypocrites who only respect Mohammed because he's of their race.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Sarkish

      b4bigbang: your ignorant a$$ obviously doesn't know that Muslims comprise of almost every race, ethnicity, color and nationality on earth. Muslim is not a race, it's a religion.

      September 14, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • DrRH

      Wayne, you read my mind. And maybe we should add cartoonist Garry Trudeau to Mrs. Clinton's American fatwah list? I can think of some other names but I bet Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Feinstein's nice little "Un-American Activities Committee" will only summon people to prove their love and respect for a religion most noisily represented by people who kill us. Christians, Mormans, and Jews are always fair game. Our Secretary of State is groveling and THAT is reprehensible.

      September 14, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  12. yahmez

    Hate speech is speech. Speech is not truly free if you cannot express dislike, distrust, or hate. People need to be free to speak out against abuse or oppression. We are not always going to agree with each other, but we do need to act in a civilized manner no matter how badly something offends us. Please stop putting your faith in Bronze Age fairy tales above maintaining civility in the present age.

    September 14, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  13. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Putting the kibosh/”google” on religion to include Islam:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore HINDUISM fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    ADDED DETAILS AVAILABLE UPON WRITTEN REQUEST:

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    September 14, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  14. Chad

    Why exactly do Muslims hate Jews so much (and by extension, the US who supports Israel)?

    What actually is behind this intractable hatred?

    Can someone explain why it is, that if all of the Muslims in the middle east destroyed all their weapons tomorrow, nothing would happen, but if all Israelis destroyed their weapons, that entire nation would be annihilated?

    What do you think is the actual source of the problem?

    September 13, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, It's good to see you questioning religion. I see it as a positive step. Sam Harris has a great book called, "The End of Faith" where he goes through the quran and the hadith reading the many passages that condone violence and war. I encourage you to read it. You can skip the stuff related to christianity. There are many islamist that believe that they are engaged in a global holy war of good versus evil, good being the strict teachings of Mohammed. There are probably other factors that contribute such as climate, socioeconomic and education (though this is a common fallacy to assume that suicide bombers are uneducated or poor).

      September 14, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Reality

      THE INANITY OF THE THREE RELIGIONS INVOLVED !!!

      September 14, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • P

      After the end of WWII Israel was created out of pity for the jewish people by the UN. So they decided to set aside a tract of land belonging to muslim palestinians and give it to the jewish people. Obviously the palestinians were not very happy about this. A few wars later and all the sudden Israel is even BIGGER than the borders that the UN originally set aside for it. And they are still trying to expand further. Many palestinians feel they are oppressed by israel in their own lands.

      = CONFLICT

      September 14, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Oldster

      I grew up (as a Gentile) in the 1950s in a heavily Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles (nicknamed Kosher Canyon). I remember very well when folks were angry with the Jews (or were just bigots), they'd rant at them to "go back to Palestine". It is their ancestral homeland, (I'm not exactly sure when or why they sort of abandoned it over the years). It is also the only homeland of the Palestinians, every bit as much as Holland is homeland to the Dutch, France to the French, etc.

      As I understand it, the UN felt sorry for the Jews after WWII and just carved up a part of Palestine and gave it to them... and the resident Palestinians said, "Wh@@@@@@@t. The. F@@@@@k ?!!!.... and still do.

      September 14, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • DrRH

      It's a good question. To be very brief, tradition has it that (Jewish) Abraham had two sons, Isaac by his (Jewish) wife, Sarah, and Ishmael, by Sarah's handmaiden, (nonJewish) Hagar, who was "given" to Abraham when Sarah thought she was barren. (They did strange things in those days). Sarah grew jealous and had Hagar and her son banished. Sibling rivalry ensued between Isaac and Ishmael over inheritance rights to the land, etc. A struggle has continued to this day. The irony is that Muslims and Jews share so many traditions: Friday night sabbath, a pork-free diet, symbolic beards, cleansing rituals, etc.

      September 14, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Reality

      An easy and safe solution to the Palestine/Israel situation as suggested by a blogger a few years ago.

      "American Muslims agree to leave the United States in a one-for-one exchange for Jews from Israel. . Problem solved!"

      September 14, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Cq

      Perhaps there is something to the Jewish insistence upon sticking to their original worship of God and identi.ty as "God's Chosen People" that aggravates those who believe in the newer Abrahamic faiths? For centuries the Jews have been seen by many as a kind of backward remnant that stubbornly refuses to embrace what Muslims and Christians both see as their perfected faith in God. Both see the Jews not really having any place in their idea of the future, and both believe that there must have been something fundamentally "wrong" about Judaism for God to have deemed it necessary to create their faith. This dynamic plays a huge part in creating all the animosity, I think.

      September 14, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Reality

      1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have solved the problem:

      To wit:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      prob•a•bly

      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      September 14, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Chad

      @GodFreeNow “There are many islamist that believe that they are engaged in a global holy war of good versus evil, good being the strict teachings of Mohammed. “
      @Chad “so you are saying that Muslims view Jews as uniquely evil? (since all of their hatred is focused on that one group)

      @P,@ Oldster “After the end of WWII Israel was created out of pity for the jewish people by the UN…”
      @Chad “not really, you should read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Part ition_Plan_for_Palestine

      @DrRH “Isaac and Ishmael, …. Sibling rivalry…”
      @Chad “but why do the Muslims want to eradicate Israel, and Israel doesn’t want to eradicate Muslims? Why is the hatred so asymmetric??

      @Cq “Perhaps there is something to the Jewish insistence upon sticking to their original worship of God and identi.ty as "God's Chosen People" that aggravates those who believe in the newer Abrahamic faiths….”
      @Chad “candidate for dumbest post of the year? Jews are the problem because they refuse to be Muslims/Christians? Really? That explains why Muslims want to exterminate them?

      September 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • DrRH

      Chad, in reply to your follow-up question....One can only speculate that Muslims who do not have the advantages of living in a functioning and affluent democracy are angry at the world and have developed a tradition of scapegoating the Jews. It is stupid, because their poverty and frustration are not the fault of Israel–or Jews anywhere else. Have you heard of the song, "You have to be carefully taught", from the musical South Pacific? It's about instilling hatred in children. The Muslims do just that, formally, in their schools.

      September 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @DrRH "One can only speculate that Muslims who do not have the advantages of living in a functioning and affluent democracy are angry at the world and have developed a tradition of scapegoating the Jews...."

      @Chad "it isnt merely the poor muslims that hate Jews, it's all muslims, and why is their hatred reserved for the Jews?

      there is a clear answer, I'm just wondering if anyone else understands the real root of that conflict...

      September 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, I would say, yes, but not uniquely evil. Just evil.

      September 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • DrRH

      Well, Chad, why don't you share with us your own conclusions?

      September 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @GodFreeNow "I would say, yes, but not uniquely evil. Just evil."

      =>well, either then the Jews are the ONLY evil ones in the world (according to Muslims), or Muslims are ignoring all the other evil ones and just focusing on Jews..?

      which doesnt make sense, right?

      why do Muslims consider Jews so unique, that all their hatred is focused on them?

      September 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Chad

      @DrRH "Well, Chad, why don't you share with us your own conclusions?"

      =>pretty simple
      God chose Abraham’s son Isaac(Jews) instead of Abraham’s son Ishmael(Muslims)
      light vs dark
      good vs evil

      September 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you believe Muslims are evil, Chard?

      September 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Moses

      "God chose Abraham’s son Isaac(Jews) instead of Abraham’s son Ishmael(Muslims)"

      That's my arrogant, ethnocentric story and I'm stickin' to it. :twisted:

      September 14, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Chad

      ANYONE who opposes Israel, is on the wrong side of right.

      September 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So answer the question, Chard, if you're not too d!ckless to do so: are Muslims evil?

      September 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • DrRH

      I side with Israel, too. But to sweepingly condemn Muslims based on religious belief is as silly as condemning all Jews, Chad. We must think clearly. Let there be more light than heat!

      September 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @DrRH "I side with Israel, too. But to sweepingly condemn Muslims based on religious belief is as silly as condemning all Jews, Chad. We must think clearly. Let there be more light than heat!"

      =>I dont condemn anyone for what they believe
      but, who they oppose is different

      September 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad: "ANYONE who opposes Israel, is on the wrong side of right."

      Few people in Israel, fewer still among the leaders of Israel, acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. Yet your God favors their strain of Abrahamic religion over that of Muslims. How strange.

      September 14, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, I guess you've forgotten about the other Afghan war with with Russia, 9/11, Pakistan and India, et al.

      September 14, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Few people in Israel, fewer still among the leaders of Israel, acknowledge Jesus as the Christ. Yet your God favors their strain of Abrahamic religion over that of Muslims. How strange."

      =>uhh... my God is the God of the Jews..

      do you know the difference between Christians and Jews?

      September 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @GodFreeNow "I guess you've forgotten about the other Afghan war with with Russia, 9/11, Pakistan and India, et al."
      =>you lost me...

      are you trying to say there is another group that Muslims hate as much as Jews?

      September 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, as I said in my original post:
      "There are many islamist that believe that they are engaged in a global holy war of good versus evil, good being the strict teachings of Mohammed." The keyword here being Global.

      The Jews, Russians, Hindus, Americans... are all apart of that global holy war. They generate a variety of reasons to express their hate. It could be a dispute of land, religion, occupation and so on... follow?

      September 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Don't be an ass, Chad. You do know the difference between your God and the God of Jews, don't you? Chad, your God is the triune God which includes God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God. Like Muslims, Jews believe that there is but one God and he is not three persons.

      September 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "You do know the difference between your God and the God of Jews, don't you? Chad, your God is the triune God which includes God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God."
      @Chad "uh..
      wrong...

      you see, here's the thing so many athiests dont know

      Jesus IS the JEWISH messiah
      God, is His FATHER
      The Holy Spirit comes from the Father

      these are all old testament, and new testament, foundational truths.
      the only difference between Christians and Jews is that Christians believe that the Messiah has come, and Jews are still waiting for that return.

      really, if you are going to attempt to discuss biblical concepts, dont you think you should read it?

      September 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @GodFreeNow: "global holy war. They generate a variety of reasons to express their hate. It could be a dispute of land, religion, occupation and so on... follow..."

      =>hmm, havent heard you say that Muslims hate anyone or anything else with anything approaching the intensity of the hatred they have towards Israel..
      why is that?

      September 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, The reason I didn't say that has nothing to do with whether or not I feel there is the same level of hatred. Obviously, if you behead someone, you have to be harboring a great deal of hate. Does that suffice for you, or is this line of reasoning not fitting with a narrative you're trying to promote?

      Also, when you quote me, please include the whole sentence so I don't feel like you are trying to misrepresent what I said.

      I will quote myself again, "There are many islamist that believe that they are engaged in a global holy war of good versus evil, good being the strict teachings of Mohammed."

      Your reply was "havent heard you say that Muslims hate anyone or anything else with anything approaching the intensity of the hatred they have towards Israel.."

      I wouldn't say "Muslims hate" just like I wouldn't say "Christians are uneducated". There are many Muslims that hate, and there are many uneducated christians and some atheists are angry. But that doesn't mean that all Muslims hate and all Christians are uneducated and all atheists are angry. Take yourself for example. You're probably very educated and definitely smart enough to twist a person's words to fit your argument regardless of the intent of their statement or your initial interpretation. I'm a happy, peaceful atheist and I know several peaceful and loving Muslims. Making generalizations about a group of people is a faulty starting position.

      September 15, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Chad

      ok, fair enough.,..

      September 15, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad: "these are all old testament, and new testament, foundational truths.
      the only difference between Christians and Jews is that Christians believe that the Messiah has come, and Jews are still waiting for that return.

      really, if you are going to attempt to discuss biblical concepts, dont you think you should read it?"

      I think you approach the world with studied ignorance, Chad. The New Testament is useless to most Jews, Chad. The whole concept of a divine Messiah, much less the Trinity, is not recognized by them at all. The only people who do believe in your God, Chad, are people who have believed the New Testament and the teachings of the Christian church fathers.

      Your God of Abraham is simply not what they believe in, Chad. Do some reading Chad. Start with what the Jews are actually looking for in their Messiah. Then do some thinking on what Jews mean when they say "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one". Really, Chad, they don't and won't believe in your triune God.

      I'm curious. Do you believe that Jews must accept the "foundational truths" of your New Testament?

      September 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "You do know the difference between your God and the God of Jews, don't you? Chad, your God is the triune God which includes God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God."
      @Chad "uh.. wrong...you see, here's the thing so many athiests dont know. Jesus IS the JEWISH messiah God, is His FATHER The Holy Spirit comes from the Father these are all old testament, and new testament, foundational truths. The only difference between Christians and Jews is that Christians believe that the Messiah has come, and Jews are still waiting for that return.
      @Tom, Tom, the Other “ The New Testament is useless to most Jews, Chad. The whole concept of a divine Messiah, much less the Trinity, is not recognized by them at all… Your God of Abraham is simply not what they believe in,”
      @Chad “Jews don’t have a concept of a Messiah????
      They don’t believe in the God of Abraham??
      Have you told them this ???
      Look, if you want to discuss the bible… here’s the thing.. you have to read it..

      September 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Chad

      oh, and, Jews dont believe in the New Testament.. they are still waiting for the Messiah to come.

      that's the difference between Chriistians and Jews..

      you will probably be VERY surprised to know that the Christian Old Testament IS the Jewish Torah, the books of the law and prophets.. Christians and Jews recognize the same exact OT text as being divine..

      didnt know that did you :-)
      well.. never reading it, I"m not surprised..

      what DOES surprise me, is that never having read it, hasnt stopped you from being an "authority" on it .. :-)

      September 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good evening Chad. I moved this over to "Internet intensifies Jewish squabbles over Israel, identity" where there may be more interest.

      September 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  15. Brad

    Normal civilized people react to criticism by responding with ideas, and logic. Muslims respond with violence and calls to silence critics. Islam and it's "prophet" are weak, without logic or foundation.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Hamm

      Then creationists aren't normal, civilized people then because "ideas" and "logic" are definitely not how they respond to criticism.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Phroot

      Dude – read about Islam first. Islam did not have one Prophet – It has thousands and thousands of Prophets (Peace be Upon them All)...Jesus, Moses, Solomon, David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Issac and so many others are all Prophets for muslims. They are respected and recognised as prophets...even their fathers (who may be prophets themselves) or their mothers (Mary, Sarah, Hagar, Rachel and others – muslims name their children after these personalities btw) are accorded special privileges. You will never find any MUSLIM insult Jesus or any other prophet for that matter. This is a pure and simple issue of sensitivity...I work in an Australian university. My colleagues are atheists, christians from various denominations, socialists, hindus – and I have had extensive discussions with them on this topic. We all agree that if we're all courteous to each other (which btw ordinary every day to day people are – regardless of their cultural or religious background) we can minimise the fall out from these deplorable events. Loss of human lives (whether at embassies or in drone strike or mob violence or airplanes hitting buildings or bomb blasts) are all terrible events. You will find that ordinary people suffer always...What we can do (1) Talk and reach out; (2) Do not insult (that creates more hate); (3) Understand each others point of view. If you disagree, keep things civilised (this applies to everyone on both sides of the divide); (4) Read about Mohammad and his character and think how can this one person and his teachings motivate people enough to rise through (there must be a reason). I AM A MUSLIM...I AM PROUD OF IT...I RESPECT PEOPLE AROUND ME...PEOPLE RESPECT ME!...Praise and Salutations be on the Mohammad, Last of the Prophets and the Prophets before him!

      P.S. Civilised comments, dialogue and responses – most welcome. Malicious ones will be ignored...!

      September 14, 2012 at 5:23 am |
    • Bill

      One of Phroot's rules for free and open conversations is "Do not insult (that creates more hate)."

      This demonstrates the fatal error in the logic and ideas of people like Phroot. In ANY conversation about intense topics (religion, politics, etc.), it is inevitable that something that is said will be considered "insulting" by someone present.

      The proper use of free speech is NOT to assiduously avoid insulting someone; it is precisely the most insulting comments that most desperately need to be addressed with logic and calm (to highlight their errant nature). THAT is the proper use of free speech.

      September 14, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Cq

      In no other field but religion is there a concept of "blasphemy", where it is considered too insulting to criticize the beliefs at all.

      September 14, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  16. l am happy

    This is not fair. We should take him to the justice. He is a criminal guy who hurt the feelings of others. Check out his background....a criminal.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  17. FlyingDragon

    Muslims overreact and extremest know this and use anything they can to incite hate towards America. I am not American but this whole death to America gig is getting a little lame. Muslims need to learn to chill and stop looking for the first thing to kill because some radical Cleric manipulates them.. This whole embassy thing was planned well before.

    Some Muslims need to learn to respect others culture and rights. Even as immigrants they complain more than anyone one I know. I remember at work we could not even listen to Christmas music because they want to push there culture onto ours even though they move into our Country (Canada). There is a Muslim delivery guy who comes to our work and refuses to respect or listen the boss who is a Lady. And on that note why should they be deserving of respect of their religion and culture when they cant respect others. Some sects of Islam is so hard core they don't even want women in school because the men want their power.

    The track record on Mohammed is not good if you really get into this biography and made rules to suit himself. But most Muslims choose to ignore those aspects. If you compare ancient Judaism with Islam you can see a lot of parallels in things. And Judaism was around a lot longer. I think he just copied one religion and tweaked it for his needs. But that's just my opinion. And because someone portrays one in an unflattering manor does not make it hate speech. Comedy makes fun of people all of the time. Its a form of expression and Mohammed should no exception. But because of the radicals the US government suck up because they know how crazy these Jhadists can get. But don't start throw your own people and free speech under the bus.

    Now everyone wants to see the stupid movie that normally would not have any viewers. Now I even will watch this just to see what has everyone up in arms. I seen the clip I could make a movie like that for 5 bucks. Sad how easy it is to get millions of Muslims up in arms.The next holy war will be cause by some fat guy posting some stuff on the internet. Stupid..and really stupid someone had to die over this.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  18. HonestLiar99

    Evelyn Beatrice Hall once wrote "I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Words, no matter how hateful, have never harmed anybody. There is absolutely no excuse for the violent actions of the protestors. If we allow free speech to be stifled, no matter how repugnant the speech is, simply because it hurts somebody's feelings, then we are going against one of the core principles this nation was founded on. The man who made this movie's right to free speech does not end where your feelings begin. Just as he has the right to express his views on Islam, you have the right to express your views on his film. Attempting to stifle speech with violence and intimidation is never acceptable.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • T101

      You are soooo stupid you have no idea what you are talking about. Its like saying to your boss in front of his face."hey boss you are an idiot, ugly, full ot it and i dont like you." by the way that is my right of free speech and should be protected, right.? You will probably get contacted by HR right away lol... with Free Speech comes responsibility. and of course word can harm somebody. look at the bully victims. im at loss of word with you

      September 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Hamm

      Unfortunately, America's laws and principles do not apply all over the world.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Glenn

      Um T101... you CAN say those things to your boss and not be criminally prosecuted or imprisoned. LOOK IT UP FOOL. The fact that he may fire you for breach of contract is totally different.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  19. gliese 42

    American freedom of speech now lies in the hand of the Arabs. lol Pathetic.

    September 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  20. Outooftouch

    Anybody who lives in between a nice guy and a bad guy, would you use your free speech to insult the bad guy or the nice guy? Try it and you will sure know what will happen. Sow the wind get the storm. Sow the seeds get the fruits. Insults don't belong to civilized world. If they are the core value of the US then so be it. Don't complaint and get ready for whatever you're getting back. BTW goddluck with killing all of the bad guys.

    September 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Glenn

      Grow a pair. Stop blaming victims. Stand up for free speech and speak out against violence. I can call you a booger eating boot-licker all day and you can walk away any time.

      September 14, 2012 at 12:03 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.